Symposium on Bordering Cultures

The Austin College Center for Southwestern and Mexican Studies will present a symposium, “Bordering Cultures: Crossing the Lines of History and Myth,” Tuesday through Thursday, October 15-18, on campus. The events are free and open to the public.

“This year’s symposium examines notions of history and myth surrounding Texas Independence, the Centennial celebration, Choctaw culture, Native American history through the 21st century, and Mexican narrative traditions of Day of the Dead,” said Julie Hempel, director of the center.

The symposium begins Tuesday, October 15, at 11 a.m. in IDEA Center, Room 127, with a panel addressing “Texas Independence and the Centennial.” Dr. Stephen Hardin, professor of history at McCurry University, will present “Texas Independence: An American Perspective.” Dr. John Morán González, associate professor of English and Mexican American studies at University of Texas at Austin will present “From Revolution to Centennial: Mexican Americans and the Weight of Texas History.” The discussion will continue at a carry-your-tray luncheon in Wright Campus Center.

A second panel on “Native American Culture and History” will be offered Wednesday, October 16, at 4:30 p.m. in Wright Campus Center, Room 231. Dr. Ian Thompson, Choctaw Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, will present “Chahta Lukfi Atoba Ikbit Himonachi” (Revitalizing Choctaw Pottery). Dr. Russell David Edmunds, the Anne and Chester Watson Chair in History at University of Texas at Dallas, will present “Myths and Realities: Native Americans in History and the 21st Century.”

On Thursday, October 17, at 11 a.m. in Wright Campus Center, Room 231, the focus turns to “Mexican Culture: Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead). A bilingual reading of La Muerte …Puros Cuentos (Death … Just Stories) will be presented by the Austin College Theatre in Spanish group (ACTS), including senior Connie Herrera of Frisco, Texas; sophomore Marimar Hernández of Austin, Texas; junior Julio Malave-Torres of The Colony, Texas; and junior Edgar Rodríguez of Odessa, Texas.

The Austin College Center for Southwestern and Mexican Studies promotes collaborative learning, with special emphasis on the historical, cultural, social, economic, and political issues facing Texas and Mexico. The Center seeks to prepare its students and the College community at large to meet challenges and opportunities focusing on the relationship between Mexico and the southwestern United States. Julie Hempel, associate professor of Spanish, serves as director of the center.

Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives.